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49ers Training Camp: Developing Versatility On Both Sides Of The Ball

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When it comes to the final few roster spots as well as who to keep active on the 46-man game-day roster, a versatile player will often get the nudge over a less versatile player if everything is equal, or at least fairly close. A player who can be a jack of all trades, if not a master of any might get such a bump, particularly if special teams is one such area of expertise.

Yesterday's practice featured two late round picks working on both sides of the ball throughout the day. Sixth round pick Colin Jones played at safety and wide receiver, while seventh round pick Bruce Miller got in at fullback and outside linebacker. Both players are also expected to contribute on special teams. Miller was known as a potential two-way guys when the team told the all-conference defensive end that he was drafted as a fullback. Jones was not discussed in such a context, although his speed makes it less surprising that he's getting mixed in on that side of things.

It will be interesting to see if either player gets any preseason playing time at either position. As Coach Fangio said in his press conference yesterday, the starters will get a bit more playing time, which means less playing time for the third and fourth string guys. Jones on offense and Miller on defense would likely be pretty far down the totem pole compared to their normal roles.

Maybe it's something the team rolls out in the fourth preseason game when starters don't generally play too much. Although given the lack of offseason preparation, would anybody be all that surprised to see the 49ers starters get more playing time in week four than they would in a normal preseason?

Camp Practice Reports